Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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Home Passenger Northumberland line passes major milestone

Northumberland line passes major milestone

The Northumberland Line has taken a significant step forward after the government gave the go ahead to close level crossings, buy land and carry out work at key points.

A Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) means this can now go ahead.

The application for the Order and deemed planning permission was made on 26 May.

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A month-long public inquiry into the TWAO ran throughout November last year led by a government-appointed inspector. The inquiry gave the council, objectors and other interested parties a chance to have their say on the detailed plans. 

There were 29 objections outstanding to it at the commencement of the local inquiry along with 25 supporting responses and 4 representations. Seven objections had been withdrawn by the close of the inquiry. Of the remaining 22 original objections, 14 were from statutory objectors — which are normally people who live on and/or own land affected.

A letter from Natasha Kopala, head of the Transport and Works Act Orders Unit, says that although there would be “adverse effects” from the work, both Shapps and the inspector believed “these are clearly outweighed by the significant benefits that will be delivered by the Scheme and the Order.”

Northumberland County Council leader Glen Sanderson welcomed the announcement and said: “This is really positive news and is yet another key milestone this fantastic project has reached. 

“The public inquiry was extremely thorough and carefully examined every aspect of the scheme over the course of several weeks. 

“We can now look forward with renewed confidence as we continue to bring this much-needed rail scheme forward.” 

Main construction work on the Northumberland Line is due to get underway this summer. 

The scheme, which will see six new stations, deliver 18 miles of upgraded track, access improvements and new signal locations, is due to be open by December 2023. 

It’s planned to run a half hourly passenger service between Newcastle and Ashington – stopping at Bedlington, Bebside, Newsham, Seaton Delaval and Northumberland Park along the way.

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